This morning, a friend with a new baby reminded me of the complete and total fucking AWESOMENESS that is the modern-day practice of pumping breast milk from your titties at work. The inconveniences and indignities of this process are many and varied, and therefore difficult to enumerate.
But let me try anyway.
I don't have a baby that requires me to pump breast milk anymore, but I did have two of them at different points in time, and collectively spent many hours of my day with my titties squeezed into a cone shaped tube of flesh and shoved into a plastic funnel.
I was FAR luckier than most women who work outside the home, because my workplace is friendly to nursing mothers, and I've always had an office with a door. But let's face it: There is nothing remotely natural, normal, or fun about the breast pump. Especially at work.
Here's an easy 10-step explanation as to why:
1. Your giant, engorged, throbbing, aching, leaking tatas are telling you to go be with your baby, and get off the phone or get out of this meeting. So you excuse or mute yourself to begin the pumping process.
2. You close your door (if you have one) and put a sign on the outside that says something to the effect of, "Warning: I'm in here with my tits out. Please knock or enter at your own risk."
3. You plug in a device that cost $300, but yet somehow still looks like a cross between a rudimentary pipe bomb and a turn-of-the-century ham radio used by tin-foil hat wearers who are trying to obtain a nuclear code from Martians.
4. You connect two plastic cones that look like something a vet would put on a hamster to keep the hamster from chewing out his stitches. Then you shove your titties into it and dial that ham radio up to "5."
5. You connect the cone to a hose, and the hose to a little plastic (BPA free, of course) bottle (or something like that, I am blocking it now), and start watching as milk squirts out of your tits into the bottle. You feel oddly satisfied as the bottle starts to fill up and you stare at the "product" in fascination, simultaneously amazed, disgusted, and proud that your body is in the process of making milk. MILK for fuck's sake!
6. You start zoning out and begin to feel hints of euphoria, along with unquenchable thirst and a strange urge to eat a column of double-stuff Oreos as you listen to the repetitive sound of the ham radio "talking" to you and sending you secret Martian codes. (My breast pump kept saying "Mama Floor" and "Thug Life" over and over again).
7. When you've squeezed every last drop of milk you can out of your tits (and still worry it's not enough), you will hear someone on the conference call say "What do you think?" You will have no idea what they are talking about, since the only thing you've heard for the past fifteen minutes is "Mama Floor." You will then have to un-mute and ask whomever it was to kindly repeat the question.
8. When you're done with all that, you'll wipe your boobs with a tissue or your sleeve; take your plastic bottles of breast milk (which feel disturbingly warm to the touch); and walk them through a public hallway to your break-room refrigerator. There you will place them with a little label (in case anyone mistakes them for coffee creamer) right next to Bill-From-Accounting's leftover Chinese take-out.
9. If you're paying attention, at the end of the day you might remember to take the milk home to be frozen and placed in a future bottle for your baby, because if you don't give your baby breast milk at every feeding, he or she will grow up to be sick, allergic, brain damaged, and intermittently employed at a Chevron gas station between stints on meth/in prison.
10. Repeat steps 1-9, 3x per day (with your entire day planned around your tits) for six months to a year.